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Oil companies commit to action plans on biofuels.



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The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP MINISTER FOR TRADE, AUSTRALIA

Wednesday, 28 September 2005

OIL COMPANIES COMMIT TO ACTION PLANS ON BIOFUELS

The Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of The Nationals, Mark Vaile, has welcomed the commitment today by Australia’s major oil companies to assist the Government reach its target of at least 350 million litres of biofuels by 2010.

“The oil companies’ commitment to reach this target through the development of Industry Action Plans is another step forward in the Government’s quest to increase the use of renewable fuels in the national fuel mix and develop a strong and viable biofuels industry,” Mr Vaile said.

“Importantly, the Industry Action Plans will include annual volumetric targets, which will outline the contribution the oil companies will make in achieving the Government’s target once the Plans have been developed over the next couple of months.

“The meeting also acknowledged the need to reinforce consumer confidence in biofuels. Consumers should have the right to choose.

“With increased petrol prices, we need to think ahead more than ever about Australia’s fuel needs. Australian-produced ethanol and biodiesel will be an important part of our fuel mix and increase our fuel security.

“We should not forget the role that car manufacturers, consumer groups, fuel retailers, the biofuels industry and others can play in restoring consumer confidence as well. I welcome the roundtable to be convened by Minister McFarlane to discuss this issue. In addition, I intend to meet with these different groups as well.

“The Government will be playing its part to reinforce consumer confidence by encouraging the use of E10 in the Commonwealth fleet, where available.

“Today is a starting point; the oil companies now have a clear understanding of the importance of the Government’s policy and expectations.

“A viable Australian ethanol industry is in the national interest. The increased use of biofuels will reduce pollution in our congested cities, reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs in regional Australia,” Mr Vaile said.

Contact: Richard Forbes 02 6277 7420 or 0418 273 475

Bill McKinley Communications Adviser Office of the Hon Mark Vaile MP Deputy Prime Minister Leader of The Nationals Minister for Trade

Tel: 02 6277 7420 Fax: 02 6273 4128